Chemistry - Magnesium


  • Magnesium is a shiny gray solid element.

  • The symbol of magnesium is ‘Mg’ and atomic number is ‘12.’

  • With approximately 80% of the world market share, China is the largest supplier of magnesium.

Salient Features of Magnesium

  • The density of magnesium is two-thirds the density of aluminum.

  • Among all the alkali metals of the Earth, magnesium has lowest melting point (i.e. about 1,2020F) and lowest boiling point (about 1,9940F).

  • Magnesium usually reacts with water at room temperature.

  • Sometimes, magnesium is also used as an igniter for thermite.

  • Magnesium, when burns in air, produces a brilliant-white light, which also includes strong ultraviolet wavelengths.

Magnesium Component
  • Magnesium, when burns, it produces intense bright and white light (see image given above).

Occurrence of Magnesium

  • By mass, magnesium is the eighth-most-abundant element found in the Earth's crust.

  • Magnesium is found usually in large deposits of magnesite, dolomite, and other such minerals.

  • The soluble magnesium ion is found in the mineral water.

  • After sodium and chlorine, magnesium is the third most abundant element dissolved in seawater.

  • Magnesium naturally occurs only in combination with some other elements.

  • By mass, magnesium is the 11th most abundant element in the human body and it is essential to all cells and enzymes.

  • Magnesium ions frequently interact with polyphosphate compounds including ATP, DNA, and RNA.

Compounds of Magnesium

  • Following are the major compounds of magnesium −

    • Magnesium carbonate - MgCO3

    • Magnesium chloride - MgCl2

    • Magnesium citrate - C6H6MgO7

    • Magnesium hydroxide - Mg(OH)2

    • Magnesium oxide - MgO

    • Magnesium sulfate - MgSO4

    • Magnesium sulfate heptahydrate - (MgSO4·7H2O)

    • Magnesium sulfate heptahydrate is commonly known as Epsom salt.

Usages of Magnesium

  • Magnesium has wide range of usage in our lives; however, some significant usages of magnesium are −

    • After iron and aluminum, magnesium is third most commonly used element.

    • Magnesium is especially used in super-strong, lightweight materials, and alloys.

    • Magnesium is also used as engine materials in the aircraft industry.

    • Magnesium is also used to purify the solvents; such as in preparing the super-dry ethanol.

    • Many of the automotive big brands including Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Volkswagen, Chevrolet, etc. use magnesium in making their highly quality cars.

    • Because of having low weight and good electrical and mechanical properties, magnesium is commonly used in manufacturing laptops and tablet computers, mobile phones, cameras, and many other electronic components.

    • Magnesium sulfite is usually used in manufacturing paper.